Exciting Fishing Sites You Should Follow

Nominations for the 2012 IFishWrite Big Splash Award for Excellence in Angling Journalism

Providing knowledge is part of the value, but bringing it to you in an entertaining, inspiring manner feeds the dream. We’re constantly looking for angling sites that provide a number of criteria in a highly interesting manner. If you know of such a site we may have not yet seen or analyzed please share it by contacting us here.

Let’s Make A Splash!

And for that reason I have selected the following sites as the most outstanding angling urls thus far in my personal experience. (I have friends who will hate me–but I have a policy in place as well.) These site recommendations are nominees at this point, not winners. I’ll post more as I come across them and find them worthy of attention. I have a selected  review board of anglers who have agreed to participate as Judges in this first annual IFishWrite BIG SPLASH Award for Online Excellence in Angling Journalism.

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I’m awarding four categories for this annual recognition:

Best of Content

Best of Photography

Best Outfitter

Best All-Around

Best Outfitter

Please participate with me by posting your recommendations in the comment section. We’ll consider and weigh every site suggested–please no spam–we’ll reject that and I’ll report you! I’m asking for legitimate site recommendations that have to do with FISHING.

I’ll post the winners of 2012 competition on or about January 1st of 2013. I have a select Board of Judges whom I’ll name at that time with links to their sites. (No they are not allowed to recommend themselves, nor am I. Read the Policy here.) Our idea is to link you to what’s really good and who does it, so that we can all improve our sites.

Here’s my list of contenders so far:

Bass Angling Archives (Content) Angling writers Terry Battisti and Pete Robbins combine their skills to bring their readers the best in bass angling history.

Tosh Brown (Photography)Texas-based Tosh Brown is a full time outdoor photographer and writer whose willingness to share technique and lore makes him exceptional.

Deneki Outdoors (Outfitters) Operators of quality fly fishing lodges in the Bahamas, British Columbia, and Alaska, these bloggers provide food of vision to inspire fishers of adventure.

Catch Magazine  (All Around)

The Criteria

Our selection is based on a review of these qualifying characteristics.  Does their site encourage, promote or have:

1) Original Content with rich purpose, crafted use of the language and a gift for insight

2) Captures and enhances the world of fishing for everyone

3) Inspires young and old alike to take up a rod of any sort and get on the water

4) Encourages anglers the world over of all ages to respect the water and all fish species.  to good ethics and principles of healthy conservation including harvest where appropriate

5) Promotes ethical relationships to the industry as well as principles of healthy conservation including harvest where appropriate

6) Educates on issues important to local, national and world fisheries management

7) Provide innovative, creative presentation of content including uniqueness of style in photographs and video

8) Teaches technique in presentation including the reasons why some products produce better results.

9) Provides links and promote other sites as well as their own

10) Uses Social Media effectively to enhance angling awareness

11) Promotes or provides stories and facts about the history of angling

12) Promotes safety through awareness

13) Carries relevance to today’s angling challenges

14) Demonstrates excellence in media presentation

Answers to the above questions are rated from one to ten. If you would like to suggest a qualifying question or become one of our deciding Board of Advisors, please contact us here. If you would like to suggest a website for consideration of the 2013 IFishWrite Award of Excellence in Angling Journalism, please contact us here.

All recommendations are reviewed for consideration by our select Board of Advisors. Nominations for next year’s awards will close at midnight Pacific Standard Time, December 15, 2012.

Good luck!

~Dwayne Parsons on Twitter @IFishWrite

 

 

 

 

The Great Metaphor of Fishing

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One Fine Passion

I am fortunate to carry a passion for fishing in my heart. I’ve learned many things from it that apply directly to successes in life, in relationships and in the study of things.

North Idaho has it all when it comes to the great outdoors. Taking part in what’s here in a meaningful way adds life to my old bones and brings enthusiasm into my daily enterprise. I find that when I relate to the Nature around me in this positive way that I then also relate in positive ways to the people and challenges found in business.

So fishing became a metaphor where I could lay things out for comparison and see a little better into other events unfolding in my life. The river flows. On it and in it there are many dangers, many surprises and a delightful bounty when you learn to read it and become one with it. I call this latter notion my Zen Attitude, though I don’t study Zen or practice it knowledgeably. Like the metaphor, my Zen Attitude is simply a parallel to a known philosophy. I like to get into The Zone, for instance where thoughts are not being thought, but realizations and insights occur in the moment where I’m in a fully cooperative relationship with the water and air environments around me.

At this stage of my life when most of my friends have retired (but not all, and certainly not me), recreational fishing is a way of analyzing the complexities of modern life and of finding balance within it all. I’ve made many solid friendships too along the way, either on shore or wading or in a boat; and many of those relationships like Mike Robertson of Calgary’s Bow River Blog have become lifelong albeit long distant fishing buddies.

It adds richness to life even in these times.

~Dwayne Parsons on Twitter @IFishWrite

The Proof’s in the Picture

How to Capture the Exact Moment in Photography

One of the strongest reasons we fish is to show others what we caught. The advent of video and digital cameras and their subsequent migration into cellphone technology has made picture taking a part of everybody’s trip to the lake. Sites like Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn have given us the place to show what we caught.

Rick Lawrence of Fish N Fool Lures being photographed by Ben Fiest

Rick Lawrence of Fish N Fool Lures displays a fine largemouth bass taken from the edge of cattails on MacArthur Reservoir north of Sandpoint, Idaho where I live. His success is recorded by fishing buff, Ben Fiest of Sandpoint, and yours truly (for the sake of illustration).

Four Basic Types of Photos

The mug shot is when someone holds their catch up in front of the camera and that’s about all we see with a smiling fisherman in the background. Sometimes that’s worthy, especially with an exceptional fish; but more often it’s quite boring to look at. You won’t receive many comments from a mug shot.

Another type of photo common in the outdoors is the standard scenery or landscape photo. Some of those are absolutely gorgeous; but in my younger days of photography when I had to study in order to compete, I discovered that I sold more scenics when they showed human involvement and almost guaranteed when the human in the shot was either looking into the scene or doing something in it. Why is this? Because when there is someone else in the picture and they are anonymous or representative (not hogging the viewer’s attention), then the person looking at the photograph has reason to imagine themselves playing or standing in the same scene.

The action shot is usually best when the sport or activity is caught at the pinnacle of involvement. If you don’t have high speed digital settings on your camera (and cell phones don’t), you have to train yourself to see the pinnacle moment coming before it happens.

Combine All Three in Illustrating the Story

It took many years of shooting and analyzing before I learned to combine all three when I could. In the photo above, I anticipated the moment when outdoorsman, Ben Fiest lifted his cell phone and Rick Lawrence of Fish N Fool Lures held up his catch, lure dangling. Rick sells these fantastic plastic swim baits so he’s always looking for photographs that show proof. Ben, on the other hand, who works in construction just wanted to record the memory. I was there, not only to fish and write about it, but to illustrate my blog. So here was the perfect opportunity.

I saw it coming. I barked no orders. Just grabbed my camera from its case, turned it on and took a rapid succession of photos as Ben and Rick got into the action. The one you see here was my illustration for this article. That’s MacArthur Reservoir in the backdrop, June of this year. The photo is a mug shot, a scenic, an action shot and an illustration all in one.

Here’s a different kind of illustration, one I took this spring specifically for Idaho First Realty, owned by long-time friend and broker Ed Ostrom. That’s my famous Bijou, the registered long-haired chihuahua, an unpaid model posing as I captured the southern shore of Sandpoint, Pend Oreille River, our infamous Long Bridge and the Cabinet Mountains in the back drop–all in one to give Idaho First Realty’s website a unique and truthfully illustrated banner.

Last, I want you to look another kind of story illustration that can provide memories for you on your trip. I took it when I had no fish to photograph and little to write about accept the topic: what you do when you’re not catching fish.

Get the picture?

~Dwayne Parsons on Twitter @IFishWrite